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An Oral History of the MVW by Dick DeLombard

I started riding with the MVW in the early 70's while attending the Univ of Toledo. Gary Dauer was the resident fast guy during most of my years with the club.

I wish I had tried harder to become a racer since there were some quality riders there to teach me. We would go out in the farmland between Perrysburg and BG and ride the squares. We would ride a cross wind one mile leg easy, then sprint downwind for a mile, then crosswind again, then an upwind leg fast. Well the real racers would keep a gear restriction but I would shift up so that I could keep up with them. 

We had races each week, perhaps some of the same courses that are still in use. The course inside the rec center (is that the right name?) was nasty because it had a corner greater than 90 degrees (and it was flat) and the lap was real short. Our time trial course was from Ft Meigs south on Rt 65 until the split to the right down the hill past a river park. Sorry I can't remember specific names. Then a left turn up a hill back to the Rt 65 road and a left turn to head north. This was not exactly a flat time trial course! (When I moved to the Medina area and started a club there, the first time trial course I laid out was hilly too. I won that several times, but the next year the riders changed it to a flaaaaaat course on the other side of the county!)

I wonder if Mark Tyson still rides with his wrists bent back and resting ahead of the handlebar between the stem and brake handles. 
The Paramount track bike I bought from Tom Paul in the mid 70's still sits in the basement on my rollers. We used to have a roller get together in the winter. As funny as it seems now, we would get a bunch of pennies to count pedal revolutions while we were timing each other. count ten pedal revs and slide a penny over. Once or twice we had a roller race demonstrations in one of the Toledo malls (back then it seems there was only Woodville, Franklin Park, and Southwyck). 

My first real race was in Windsor. A big deal with lots of riders from Detroit and Windsor and a good MVW turnout. I borrowed my brother's Falcon since I was riding a true camping_style bike with the club at the time. (Fenders, racks, generator, etc.  You get the picture! You've all seen Joe Dollman's model.) Well, I won my age group in the novice category. When it came time for passing out prizes, they didn't have any for my age group! The organizer said that the registration folks messed up because there wasn't supposed to be a novice age group for over 20 years old! At least I won the race. [Do click the photo, above.]

Several MVW racers used to go up to the Detroit races at the track and a park (that name escapes me also!). We made the trek down to a Homecoming festival in a town near Dayton. The race would occur immediately after a humongous parade. I have never raced before a bigger crowd! We also went to the Tour of Warren County, a two day, four stage race. First on Saturday was a road race, then an afternoon criterium (short laps). Then on Sunday another road race and finally a time trial. I couldn't finish the second road race (it was HILLY and not a tour) but Jan Pump (MVW member from Clyde, Ohio) finished.

There were several MVW members who were good at track racing. Chuck "Thunder thighs" Conner was a great sprinter. I think Gary Dauer raced track also. I think one or two rode in the national championships once or twice.

That's about all I can dredge up for now.

Dick DeLombard 9/12/00

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